China to Shoot at High Frontier

China needs a weak candidate who is negligent or non-chalant about America’s security and supremacy in the world. Within the first four years of the Obama administration, Chinese military technology seems to have gained near equality to its US countepart. Another four years will likely bring it to a strategic advantage over the United States. The gap might even widen enough to where we might not even be able to defend our homeland due to being blinded by the assassin’s mace.

U.S. Intelligence: China to conduct test of more powerful anti-satellite weapon capable of hitting GPS, spy satellites, but after U.S. election

China’s military is set to conduct a test of a new and more capable anti-satellite missile that United States intelligence agencies say can knock out strategic satellites in high-earth orbit, according to U.S. officials.

However, a recent intelligence assessment said the test of the Dong Ning-2 direct ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon is being delayed in an apparent effort to avoid upsetting President Barack Obama’s reelection bid, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The missile is described by intelligence agencies as a high-earth orbit interceptor designed to destroy satellites by ramming them at high speeds. The intelligence reports called the new missile a strategically significant counterspace weapon, said the officials familiar with the reports.

Testing a high-earth orbit anti-satellite missile would represent a major advance in China’s satellite-killing capability, which has been underway for more than a decade. High-earth orbit, also known as geosynchronous orbit, is the location of major communications and navigation satellites, which orbit at a distance of between 12,000 miles and 22,236 miles from earth.

China’s last ASAT test in 2007 destroyed a low-earth orbit weather satellite about 558 miles in space, causing an orbiting debris field of tens of thousands of pieces of metal that U.S. officials say will threaten orbiting satellites and human space travelers for 100 years.

U.S. officials said it is unlikely China will conduct an impact test of a kinetic kill vehicle against an aging weather satellite as occurred in 2007, although the possibility of a second, major debris-causing test cannot be ruled out.

Instead, officials said the test most likely will be a demonstration of a precision-guided direct ascent missile flying out tens of thousands of miles.

“If the United States loses the strategic high ground of high-earth orbit [from a Chinese high-altitude ASAT missile], we are in real trouble,” said one U.S. official.

U.S. Global Positioning System satellites, used for both navigation and precision missile guidance, are located in medium-earth orbit, or about 12,000 miles, and thus would be vulnerable to the new DN-2.

Whether or not the test is successful, development of the new high-altitude DN-2 ASAT reveals that China’s military is planning for future high-orbit space warfare despite seeking international agreements banning weapons in space.

Michael Pillsbury, a former Reagan administration defense policymaker, stated in a 2007 report to Congress that Chinese military writers advocated covert deployment of sophisticated anti-satellite weapons system like the kind now being developed by the People’s Liberation Army for use against the United States “in a surprise manner without warning.”

Even a small scale anti-satellite attack in a crisis against 50 U.S. satellites—assuming a mix of targeted military reconnaissance, navigation satellites, and communication satellites—could have a catastrophic effect not only on U.S. military forces, but on the U.S. civilian economy,” said Pillsbury, currently with the Hudson Institute. Chinese military writings also have discussed attacks on GPS satellites that are located in high-earth orbit, he stated.

ASAT a top-secret program

China’s anti-satellite missile system is a key element of the communist state’s growing arsenal of asymmetric warfare weapons, and remains one of Beijing’s most closely guarded military secrets.

Defense officials have said that with as few as 24 ASAT missiles, China could severely weaken U.S. military operations by disrupting global communications and military logistics, as well as by limiting celestial navigation systems used by high-technology weapons. Such an attack also would severely degrade U.S. intelligence gathering efforts against global targets, a key strategic military advantage.

A U.S. official familiar with reports of the ASAT test said China’s delay in conducting the test until after the Nov. 6 election is a sign Beijing wants to help President Obama’s reelection campaign. “It implies they’d rather have him reelected,” said the official.

The Obama administration has adopted conciliatory policies toward China’s military buildup and its large-scale human rights abuses. Critics say the administration also failed to hold Beijing accountable for its unfair trade practices and currency manipulation.

The administration’s questionable policies were revealed by a 2009 State Department cable that quoted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as saying, “How do you deal toughly with your banker?”—a reference to China’s potentially coercive leverage over the United States through its large holdings of U.S. debt securities.

Richard Fisher, a Chinese military affairs specialist, said little is known publicly of the DN-2 missile. However, the DN-2 may be China’s designation for an ASAT missile and kill vehicle combination mounted on launchers dubbed KT-2, or KT-2A. This ASAT weapon is based on DF-31 or DF-31A road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles, respectively.

“ASATs derived from the KT-2 and KT-2A space launch vehicles have the potential to reach high earth orbits used by many strategic U.S. surveillance, communication, and navigation satellites,” said Fisher, with the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

Fisher said in 2002, during a military show in China, the KT-2A was touted by Chinese officials as having a 2,000-kilogram payload that could reach high-earth orbits.

…Because China will not join a verifiable space control agreement, “Washington has little choice, if it is to continue to deter China militarily, but to build far greater redundancy, passive and active defenses for outer space,” he said.

…A joint State Department-Pentagon report to Congress on export controls made public in April states that China is “developing space-based methods to counter ballistic missile defenses of the United States and our allies, including anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons.”

“As China advances in operational space capabilities, it is actively focusing on how to destroy, disrupt, or deny U.S. access to our own space assets,” the report said.

China is developing and refining its ASAT weapons as part of a “multi-dimensional program to limit or prevent the use of space-based assets by potential adversaries during times of conflict,” the report said.

“In addition to the direct-ascent [missile] ASAT program, China is developing other technologies and concepts for kinetic and directed energy for ASAT missions,” including electronic jamming of satellite communications and lasers that disrupt satellites, the report said.

ASAT weapons “have significant implications for anti-access/area-denial efforts against the United States in Taiwan Strait contingencies,” the report said. Those weapons and capabilities are being developed by China as a means to force the U.S. military out of Asian waters and territory and make it more difficult for U.S. forces to get into the region during a conflict, such as a defense of Taiwan. Other anti-access area denial weapons include anti-ship ballistic missiles, cyber warfare capabilities, and submarines.

Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess told Congress in February that “China successfully tested a direct ascent anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) missile and is developing jammers and directed-energy weapons for ASAT missions.”

Burgess said that as “a prerequisite for ASAT attacks, China’s ability to track and identify satellites is enhanced by technologies from China’s manned and lunar programs as well as technologies and methods developed to detect and track space debris.

U.S. lagging in counterspace

Despite China’s continuing development of space weapons, the administration has done no research or development into so-called counterspace weapons and other capabilities that could deter China from its ASAT and anti-satellite laser and jammer arms, according to military officials. The opposition is based on the administration’s preference for arms control negotiations and agreements as a major element of its U.S. national security policies, the officials said.

The Pentagon’s National Security Space Strategy from 2011 makes little mention of counterspace weapons. It states that U.S. policy is “to dissuade and deter” others from developing space weapons, without providing specifics.

Cables detail PRC’s first ASAT test

According to a classified Jan. 12, 2010, State Department cable made public by Wikileaks, China conducted its most recent ASAT test on Jan. 11 of that year.

According to the cable, an ASAT missile designated SC-19 was fired from China’s Korla Missile Test Complex and successfully intercepted a CSS-X-11 medium-range ballistic missile launched from the Shuangchengzi Space and Missile Center.

“Previous SC-19 DA-ASAT flight-tests were conducted in 2005 and 2006,” the 2010 cable said. “This test is assessed to have furthered both Chinese ASAT and ballistic missile defense [BMD] technologies.”

An earlier cable revealed that U.S. intelligence agencies had advance word of the 2010 space weapons test, and noted that China was not expected to provide notification in advance of the test, which proved accurate.

Other State Department cables revealed conflicting statements from Chinese officials on whether China planned to conduct future ASAT tests. Chinese Foreign Ministry official He Yafei unequivocally stated to U.S. officials in June 2008 that China would not conduct future ASAT tests. In July, China Lt. Gen. Zhang Qinsheng said there were no plans for an ASAT test in the near future.

Full article: China to Shoot at High Frontier (Washington Free Beacon)

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